We report ab initio analysis of current-voltage (I-V) characteristics of carbon nanotubes with nitrogen substitution doping. For zigzag semiconducting tubes, doping with a single N impurity increases current flow and, for small radii tubes, narrows the current gap. Doping a N impurity per nanotube unit cell generates a metallic transport behavior. Nonlinear I-V characteristics set in at high bias and a negative differential resistance region is observed for the doped tubes. These behaviors can be well understood from the alignment/mis-alignment of the current carrying bands in the nanotube leads due to the applied bias voltage. For a armchair metallic nanotube, a reduction of current is observed with substitutional doping due to elastic backscattering by the impurity.
Bibliographical noteCopyright (2002) American Physical Society
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